Saturday, October 10, 2009

Return of the Smart Guy

For those of you that enjoyed Charles Eisenstein's essay, "The Ubiquitous Matrix of Lies" that I reposted here in June, here is his follow up article. I encourage you to go to the website and read the comments below the essay as Charles engages his readers and responds to their comments and questions. I'm suffering from a serious case of brain envy!

Published on Reality Sandwich (

A World-Creating Matrix of Truth
By Charles Eisenstein
Created 07/31/2009 - 17:22

God said, "Let there be light!" And there was light. -- Genesis 1:1

It was an old story that was no longer true. Truth can go out of stories you know. What was true becomes meaningless, even a lie, because the truth has gone into another story. The water of the spring rises in another place.
-- Ursula K. LeGuin

The purpose of this essay is to illuminate how we might restore the sacred, world-creating Power of Word.

Powerful words - those that affect physical reality beyond the capacity of one set of hands - are those that create a story that enrolls other people. By a story, I mean a system of meaning that focuses human intention and assigns roles to those involved in that story. Here are some examples of stories: America, France, money, the government, property, marriage, the War on Drugs, the War on Terror, Citibank. That these things are stories becomes clear when people stop believing them. When people lose confidence in a government, it is no longer a government but just a bunch of men and women in suits. When people lose confidence in a currency, it becomes mere slips of paper. When people stop agreeing that your possessions are "yours," they become just things.

Stories have their own life cycle. Stories that were once true and potent grow old and infirm, and eventually they die. Today this is happening to some of our deepest stories, the great myths of our civilization. In particular, two related stories have created the world we know today, and both of them are nearing their end. Ultimately, it is because they have entered their terminal phase that we have the ubiquitous matrix of lies I wrote about in Part 1 of this essay [1]. Lies have a way of growing until they consume all life.

The first of these world-creating stories is the Story of Ascent. It is our story of the people. It says the humanity has risen from a state of nature, a state of scientific ignorance and technological impotence, to becoming nature's lords and masters. We have harnessed natural forces, penetrated the mysteries of the universe, overcome natural limitations with technology. Someday, says the story, our understanding and control will be complete, thanks to nanotechnology, space travel, infinite energy, social and genetic engineering, etc. Humanity: conquerors of nature, onward and upward forever!

The second defining story of our civilization is our Story of Self: that we are discrete and separate beings living in an objective universe. You and I are separate - mutually dependent, perhaps, in a practical way, but independent of each other or anyone else for our basic being-ness. From the selfish gene of biology to the rational actor of economics to the flesh-encapsulated soul of religion, all of our ideologies are aligned with our story of self. And, from the medical system to the criminal justice system to the money system, all of our social institutions enact it.

Both of these defining stories are crumbling around us. Neither is true any more. Few people today greet the Story of Ascent with the same near-universal fervor of, say, the 1950s, as all the promises of technotopia (the end of disease, unlimited energy, a leisure society, space colonies) fade into legend. Collapse, not ascent, is the new meme, and this collapse ushers in new realization of connectedness, of interdependency, and along with it the end of the story of the discrete and separate self. The independent, unencumbered man of reason no longer beckons as an ideal: we crave now community, intimacy and connection.

It is time now to tell a new Story of the People and a new Story of Self. The first might be something like, "A peaceful humanity living in co-creative partnership with a wild garden earth." It is a humanity that no longer takes unthinkingly from Mother Earth, but a humanity that co-creates and coevolves together with Lover Earth, starting, I think, with an initial centuries-long phase of healing the wounds to nature and the indigenous spirit that civilization has inflicted. The second new story is the connected self: a nexus of relationships, a node in the cosmic cycle of gifts, an individual dependent not only for survival, but for her very being, on her relationship to all that was Other.

As the old stories collapse, truth will imbue new stories that spring from "co-creative humanity on Lover Earth" and "the connected self." The primary task is not to articulate these overarching meta-stories directly, but to flesh out the constellations of stories that bring them to life. One such example is the story of money [2] -- a currency system that embodies the truth of the connected self and which does not necessitate endless exponential growth - "more for me is more for you" - rather than the truth of the current usury-based system - "more for me is less for you." Another story would be any medical paradigm based not on the conquest of germs and the pharmaceutical control of body systems, but on the connections among all aspects of a person's extended being. I could list more examples, from every field, encompassing nearly anything today that goes under the category of "holistic" or "alternative."

You might be thinking, "I've been telling such stories for years, but no one seems to be listening. I thought this essay was going to tell me how to invest my words with power." Ok. For words to have power, they must be the truth for the person speaking them, and there must be listeners who are ready to move into that story as well. Let's consider both of these conditions.

Many people who tell these new stories, based on the connected self, don't really believe them. If you believe them, your life will be very different from the typical life of the Age of Separation. Beliefs are not mere vapors in the head; they manifest in all aspects of one's life and relationships. To speak a story compellingly, you must live within it. Consider the difference between someone preaching the gospel of trust in Providence who is afraid to leave his job and follow his bliss, and one who walks the walk. The words of the former won't be very convincing. Consider someone telling you all about the benefits of her meditation practice, when she is actually doing it to proudly establish a new identity as a spiritual or "conscious" meditator. Either way, even if you have no evidence of hypocrisy, you can feel it. Their words will sound like, well, bullshit.

At a festival recently I sat down for dinner next to a young man who had entered a certain Hindu monastic tradition. After mentioning several times that he is a vegan, he spent about an hour regaling me with his spiritual teachings: the illusion of all sensory perception, the principle of karma, the nature of the ego, the mastery of the monkey mind, the illusion of the self, and so on. He also expressed a thinly veiled frustration that hardly anyone listens to him, that they ignore what he says. I said little, just listening, except when I asked him if he thinks he is better than other people because he is so conscious (not as conscious as the senior teachers in his tradition, but working on it) and they are so ignorant. He said they just aren't making the effort - spirituality requires effort you know. "You are making the effort and they aren't - that means you're better, right?" But my words fell on deaf ears.

In that conversation, neither of our words had much power. His had no power because the teachings he was articulating were not actually true for him. He says, "I believe this, I believe that," but these teachings are only powerful if they spring from direct realization. When they do, they find the right words for anyone "with ears to hear," and most likely these words won't include much spiritual jargon, but will sound fresh, arresting. Even though the self is in fact an illusory construct, it was nonetheless untrue when he said it. Truth is only circumstantially related to facts. Truth is something you can feel. If he really knew what he spoke, that knowledge would affect every fiber of his being. You would be able to see it in his movements, in his life, in his eyes; you would hear it in his voice.

My words to him weren't powerful either: not because they didn't come from direct knowledge, but because I was foolishly saying them to someone who wasn't ready to hear them. Humility reminds us to answer only when asked (though the question might be silent), but I was indulging in an arrogance that has repeatedly impoverished and isolated me in this world. It is actually quite arrogant to presume to know who needs what knowledge when. I was speaking from annoyance, impatience, and perhaps a touch of contempt. I had lost touch with the humility that knows that I am not a teacher, only the agent of people's self-teaching, a conduit for the right message at the right time. If I had been wiser, I would have realized that he was asking for affirmation, that he was still growing within the new identity his monastic order had given him, and was not nearly ready to grow out of it. There we were, a couple of bullshitters. He was right to ignore my words.

Entry into a new story of self or story of the world is (usually) not a sudden, all-at-once process, and it never happens by an act of will. One sign of incomplete integration into the connected self is a feeling of despair in the face of the enormous forces blocking good in this world. The feeling of individual powerlessness buys into the ideology of the separate self, who can affect an objective universe of force and mass only through whatever puny force it can muster. But if you have truly entered into the truth of the connected self, you will know that your personal choices have cosmic significance.

Words that are powerful are words that are true for both speaker and listener, creating a story both enact. This truth can come from direct knowledge or, more commonly, from the ambient meta-stories of the society. Today those meta-stories are dying, compelling us to return to the original source of the power of story: truth. Today we are so immersed in a ubiquitous matrix of lies that we have nearly forgotten what the truth feels like. So my first suggestion for restoring the sacred Power of Word is to re-sensitize our selves to the ring of truth, the feeling of authenticity.

There are many ways to do this. Practice hearing the lingua adamica [3], the calls of the human animal that underlie all speech, the voice behind the words. You can hear it most clearly in the sounds of emotional expression, of lovemaking, of children playing, and in words that don't mean but are: "yippee," "wow," "oh," etc. These are real and intimate sounds that hide nothing. You will fall in love with a lot of people because you will hear their soul speaking. Do the same with your eyes: When you look at people, see the god behind the mask by letting go of interpretations such as "What must she be thinking about me?" You will catch glimpses of naked divinity. Surround yourself as much as possible by imperfect objects, especially handmade ones, not the abstract perfection of machine made articles, which embody the same perceptual mentality as symbolic culture. Immerse yourself for a few days in the sounds and sights of nature, without speaking or reading - when you return, the lie in almost all speech will be painfully obvious, and the occasional truth like music. (And in music too there is truth.)

I will describe the feeling of truth as I experience it. I don't know if your experience will be the same. True words pierce all the way through me. They convict me, in the archaic sense of that word. I feel a sense of awe, the presence of the sacred. Doubt is out of the question, though I might struggle for a while against a painful truth. Yet even then, there is a sense of homecoming, a reunion with something I have always known. Often, I hear truth in the voice behind the words, the poetry. To me, true words are beautiful words, and beautiful words are true. Lies, no matter how pretty, ring hollow.

Here is an example now of some words that carry truth. It is a poem spoken by the Navajo Tom Torlino in 1890. It must be read slowly, slowly enough that you can hear his voice speaking through the words.

I am humbled before the earth
I am humbled before the sky
I am humbled before the dawn
I am humbled before the evening twilight
I am humbled before the blue sky
I am humbled before the darkness
I am humbled before the sun
I am humbled before that standing within me which speaks with me
Some of these things are always looking at me
I am never out of sight
Therefore I always tell the truth
That is why I always tell the truth
I hold my word tight to my breast.*

You know the feeling of truth. You know when someone is speaking truth. The more you pay attention to this feeling, the more sensitive to it you will become. The more sensitive to it you become, the more unpleasant will be the phony, incontinent feeling of not being in truth. You will want, as Tom Torlino says, to "hold your word tight to your breast." You will listen for the truth not just in others' words, but in your own. When you do not hear it, you will wish to investigate why. Are you speaking from direct knowledge? Is this knowledge something you have integrated into your life? Are you speaking it to someone who will hear?

One change I noticed in my speech, as I became more aware of the potential power and pleasure of my words, is that I began to swear less - not out of any principle, but because the resentful impotence encoded in "fuckin' this" and "fuckin' that," the tired cynicism of calling everything "shit," the helpless rage at an unchangeable, unjust world that made me want to damn things and swear at things, was no longer consistent with my story of the world and my story of self, and that inconsistency was something I learned to feel. And it felt bad! I like to feel good, so I stopped speaking in expletives so much. Habitual swearing weakens one's words. Nonetheless I do not necessarily suggest that you make a willful effort to stop. Instead, notice the mindset and feeling that goes along with it. Notice it, and the change will come naturally. An added benefit is that when you stop habitual swearing, then non-habitual swearing becomes more fun and more powerful too. Fuck yeah!

The quintessential creative statement is: "So it shall be." Or, as in Genesis: "Let there be." According to spiritual literature, when spoken by a highly enlightened being such statements have enormous generative power. They work only to the extent that the speaker speaks in truth. If you say, "Let there be light," hoping that there will be light, wishing that there will be light, or even believing that there is a possibility that there won't be light, then there will be no light. But how could anyone stand so strongly in truth when he or she habitually uses words to deceive ("I'll call you back tomorrow”) or uses them careless of the truth ("I'm am going to quit smoking tomorrow") or for purposes that are not sacred, like gossip? Then the connection between our words and the truth atrophies, and they become impotent. That is another reason to hold your word tight to your breast. Keep it sacred. Keep it true. That doesn't necessarily mean solemnity - there is great truth in humor and fun. It means that what you say is consistent with the true story of who you are and the world you want to live in. In the coming age, these will derive, respectively, from the great meta-stories of the connected self and Lover Earth.

I am sure you know people of powerful word. When they say, "Such-and-such will be," it actually happens. Ram Dass describes how his guru, Neem Karoli Baba, would travel around India and occasionally say, "There will be a hospital here," or "There will be a temple here." His followers and devotees, some of whom were quite wealthy, would then build one. This is a pure example of the Power of Word. You might say, "Nothing magical happened here. It wasn't Neem Karoli that caused those hospitals to be built. It was his followers, who revered him." But the means doesn't matter. By whatever means, a word spoken in truth becomes real.

There is no dichotomy between some "magical" creative power of word and the ordinary means through which we create our world through our shared stories. When the state legislature says, through its layers of symbols and rituals (legislation, appropriations bills, etc.), "Let there be a road here," a road indeed manifests. The stories that embed such documents and the agreements around them lend their truth to them. (Today, for example, for most, there is still such as thing as the "State of Pennsylvania.") When President Obama says (not in so many words), "Let there be more troops in Afghanistan!" he has no doubt - nor does anyone else - that it shall come to pass. He and the rest of us have assistance in believing his words. Obama is “President of the United States" which connotes a vast constellation of meaning. Our Story of the People invests his words with power. It is when our symbols, our words and rituals, stop creating reality that we know our Story of the People is coming to an end. When that happens, as at the end of the U.S.S.R., the words of government officials become mere noise, and no one listens because no one buys into the story that gave them power. That is why I think the failure of our elites to speak the economy back to health are significant. Their rituals are losing their power, because the deep stories of our civilization are coming to an end. What was once true is true no longer. Eventually, what was once real will become unreal: the President will be just a man, money will be just slips of paper, a nation just lines on maps.

Such a time is ripe for the creation of new stories, a new matrix of truth. Unencumbered by the world as it was, we can speak new worlds into existence. We can proclaim truths that are free of the past. In times of a crisis of story, when systems of meaning are falling apart, there are many with the ears to hear a new one. At such times, a small group of people or even a single person can weave a new world for millions. To be able to do this, you must be able to hold your story, in truth, without the reinforcement of the conventional stories that surround you. You are an inventor, a pioneer, on your own in a search for truth - a new truth, not the one you grew up with, not the old stories of what is.

For decades now, perceptive people have been sensing the lie of this world. In the heady days of Ascent, only a few cultural sensitives were aware of it, the lonely voices of romantics, artists, and Beats. Since the counterculture movement of the 1960s, we have all been growingly cognizant of the ubiquitous matrix of lies. New stories are emerging, narratives of a more beautiful world. They beckon us, but we dare not believe they could really come to pass. People love the idea, for example, of alternative currencies, but how many, even among the activists, can say in truth, "The world financial system as we know it will be gone in five years, replaced by a demurrage-charged global currency that arises organically from thousands of community currencies?" Or even in fifty years? How many activists can look upon the crumbling of the old world and KNOW that a more beautiful one will take its place? How many can see the inevitable disintegration of the story of Ascent, and KNOW that the age of co-creative partnership with Lover Earth is dawning? But this is the level of knowing that is necessary right now. To be a storyteller of the Age of Reunion, you must be able to hold onto your knowing of the truth so steadfastly that you can know it on behalf of those who do not yet know. You must know it for those who are still wandering between stories. To speak a new world into existence, you must know it before anyone else does (else it would not be new). It is of no great difficulty to speak the old world into existence. We do that all the time. But now we cannot, because the story of that world is in its last stages.

In other words, to speak a new world into existence we must have great faith in the truth. We don't have the ambient stories of society as allies, nor do we even have evidence as our ally. If you speak the new stories from a place less than real knowing - say from hope or belief - then your words will have insufficient power to draw others into the story or to empower them to enact the role that that story has for them.

Sometimes people think I am advocating a kind of insanity. Isn't that what insane people do: base their beliefs not on evidence, but on what they want to be true? If you want something to be true, does that make it true? Am I saying that we are greater than the truth? Not at all. I am not talking about making up the truth. I am talking about humbling ourselves to the truth, listening for it and to it. It is when we mortgage truth to evidence that we are in hubris, imagining we can become truth's masters.

There are many stories out there today, and all of them fit the evidence. All of the evidence can be made to fit a conspiracy story involving secret cabals and alien visitors, just as it can fit the conventional story of science and politics. If he follows evidence as the royal road to truth, then the honest man eventually ends up not at the palace, but in a place called "I don't know."** Walking the road of evidence, the truth is visible out there, right on the horizon. Maybe a few more miles and one will reach it. But the horizon gets no closer.

Many people write me letters from the place between stories, the place of "I don't know." They hear the stories of a more beautiful world and basically think, "Well, it would sure be nice..." The old story is over, but they dare not embrace the new. They dare not believe, especially in the absence of evidence. (All the evidence seems to indicate that the power-hungry people who control the world will just tighten their grip forever, and the rest of us are too ignorant or puny to stop them.) The catch-22 is that the evidence will only - can only - follow the belief. When America's "Founding Fathers" declared independence, there was no evidence of it. Only when enough people believed that declaration and carried out roles in conformity to it, did the fact of independence emerge. So it is today. The pioneering storytellers must believe without evidence. They must trust truth instead.

(I don't suggest flouting evidence either. Indeed, the occurrences of our lives can open our hearts to the truth. Evidence is a servant of truth; we have made it into its master.)

At some point, if we want to be creators of the more beautiful world our hearts tell us is possible, we must let go of "I don't know" and choose, without evidence, the story that is true. Again, we recognize the truth by how it feels. We do not choose what is true - that would indeed be insane. We choose stories, not truth. We can choose them based on many things: evidence, truth, wishful thinking, fear, ego, gratitude, and obligation. What I am suggesting is to choose our stories based on truth, and with them to manifest truth in the world.

I will leave you with a paradox. Creative statements of what shall be are powerful when they are spoken in the authentic knowledge of inevitability. Yet, if they are not spoken in that knowledge, the inevitable is instead impossible. Through us - the truth-speakers, the storytellers - the truth speaks itself into existence.


* Excerpt from Navajo and Tibetan Wisdom: The Circle of the Spirit by Peter Gold.

** See A State of Belief is a State of Being [4] for a discussion of this principle as applied to the Scientific Method.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Just Stop

I came upon this website and it just blew me away. This guy just cuts right through all the bullshit and lays it out for all to see. And it is not easy to confront. His words have cut me where I needed to be cut and I'm bleeding, or perhaps it's a bloodletting, trying to rid myself of this addiction to the poisonous comforts of this unsustainable civilization.
I have posted the essay below but I suggest you visit the website to get the full picture(including the pictures that are included as part of this article that didn't copy here.) Lots to think about...decisions waiting to be made....

If you want to change the results and you cannot change the circumstances,
then you must change what is possible. This website is dedicated to
reinventing what is possible: Just stop. Build an ark.
a nexus of collaborating next-culture experimenters


Here you receive additional information and details to Just Stop. Much of this information may feel so overwhelming that it’s better to study it in small chunks. Take the time to question, to understand and to digest these ideas during the course of your weekly Just Stop Team meetings. Print out parts and use them for study and discussion materials.

Shifting to sustainable lifestyles can only be achieved through unconventional actions, because the conventional is not sustainable. Immediate non-cooperation with Western consumerism is unconventional.

Jumping off a moving freight train can tear your pants and skin your knees, but as an alternative to going over the cliff with the train, jumping off is not a bad choice.

Jumping off the Western consumerism freight train is a personal risk because we don’t know how it’s done. No one can force us to do it. But no one can stop us from doing it either.

A growing number of people Just Stop even though they have no guarantee that it will make a difference. They don’t even try to explain to everybody what they are doing. They Just Stop. You can Just Stop too.

Unsustainability can be unsustained. Just Stop sustaining it.


Just Stop does not mean decrease. It means suddenly, totally, permanently stop.
Just Stop is nonviolent noncooperation with unsustainability.
Just Stop means to cease participating in every part of Western consumerism that is not sustainable. This turns out to include just about every aspect of Western culture.

In straight practical terms, if you Just Stop it would eventually look like this:

* You stop buying anything packaged in plastic. Plastic is made from oil. You bring your own cloth bags, a wicker basket or a backpack. You tell your grocer why you stop.

* You stop buying disposables, things that you use for awhile and then throw away, like party favors, lighters, ball point pens, decorations. You tell your drugstore why you stop.

* You stop buying synthetic, rubber, plastic clothing. It is made from oil.

* You stop buying anything that is not completely recyclable. Then you make sure it is recycled.

* You stop eating imported beef, or beef that is fed on imported grains. This includes almost all fast food restaurants. Farmlands for cattle food are made by burning tropical rainforest. The rapidly expanding beef industry produces huge amounts of methane.

* You stop buying foods grown farther than 200 miles from your home. The greenhouse gases from trucking foods cross country are enormous.

* You stop buying anything made with imported hardwoods like teak or mahogany. This is what rainforests are made of.

* You stop flying in planes. Huge quantities of greenhouse gases are spewed out of jets.

* You stop purchasing products delivered by cargo ship. The combined greenhouse gases emitted by global shipping exceeds the greenhouse gases from cars. Products arriving by ships include bananas and other tropical and out-of-season fruits, foreign clothing, foreign shoes, foreign made tools, foreign cars, foreign toys, foreign electronic goods, etc.

* You stop purchasing products and services from businesses that are not sustainable.

* You stop driving your car. You sell it. You walk, ride a bicycle, or use mass transportation systems. You get a cart for the back of your bicycle so you can haul small loads.

* You plan to take much more time to get from one place to another.

* You stop using electricity that is made from oil, coal, or natural gas, or from nuclear reactors.

* You stop living in an area near rising sea levels.

* You stop living in an area where your food must be trucked in. You make friends with local organic farmers. You learn to grow your own organic food. You grow as big a garden as you can, without pesticides or petrochemical fertilizers. You find and preserve your own non-hybrid seeds.

* You stop living in a house that is heated with oil, coal, natural gas, or electricity as above.

* You stop going to your job if it involves mining, oil production, refinement, delivery or sales, deforestation, chemical or nuclear industries, oil powered transportation, etc.

* You stop going to your job if it is in the government. Government is a tremendous producer of greenhouse gases. When you stop, it stops.

* You stop going to your job if it is in the military or in any way supplies the military. The military is a tremendous producer of greenhouse gases. When you stop, it stops.

* You stop giving you authority to a government that takes irresponsible or reprehensible actions in your name. You withdraw you franchise. You legally terminate your agreement to be bound by their laws. You alter your life to bypass government completely, and bind yourself instead to a more responsible Code of Conduct.

* You keep educating yourself.

* You keep meeting with others who are also stopping.

* You create a project with others to develop and live in sustainable culture. You build an ark.

When I Just Stop it does not mean I am trying to get others to Just Stop.

Just Stopping is personal. I stop because I am unwilling to continue creating the consequences of not stopping.

After stopping, what do I do instead? Meet often with my family and friends to figure out a lifestyle for me that is sustainable on earth for the long term.

Every changed action matters. There are cultures that have continued for 30,000 years. Modern Western consumerism has proven itself suicidal within 150.

By consciously stopping before I am forced to stop by climate change conditions I am not forced into bare survival. I have a few years right now to collaborate with friends and family to create the businesses and traditions of sustainable culture.

Could I suddenly stop? The will to stop comes when I reclaim my unique personal vision of a life of well being. Am I willing to live my vision?

You have the right to opt out. You can awaken aliveness in yourself through nonviolent non-cooperation with what is not you. I could have said: You can awaken aliveness through free enactment of your destiny, but this assumes that you are not a sheep. In the Paul Simon song, Pigs Sheep and Wolves, we are the sheep. (Paul did not tell me this. It’s my interpretation.)

Ordinarily we imagine our life as interplay between the sheep and the wolves. We are the sheep. They are the wolves. (Even black sheep are still sheep…) This oversimplified myth of us vs. them, sheep vs. wolves, good guys vs. bad guys puts us to sleep about noticing the activity of a third player in the melodrama: the pigs. Revealing the existence of pigs gives a more realistic three-way dynamic.

Sheep are us, the gullible consumers, the slumbering majority, the marks. In these days of miracle and wonder, it is not, “We the people…,” it is, “We the sheeple…” There is no “them.” There is no secret conspiracy of millionaires and billionaires. People live out their lives in various costumes according to what they want to experience. People wearing the sheep costumes want to feel safe.

Wolves are the visible forces of culture such as all levels of overt and covert government, police, laws, taxes, politicians, courts, lawyers, judges, schools, churches, military, social services, IRS, FBI, CIA, DOD, NSA, NSC, AMA, FDA, etc., those three letter organizations that exist for your protection. Wolf forces tell us what we can’t do. People wearing the wolf costumes want to feel right.

Pigs are the invisible forces of culture such as corporate brands, franchises, slogans, lifestyles, entertainment, sexual images, cars, technologies, addictive foods and drugs (legal and illegal), health ideas, news and media channels, sports and fans, movie stars, holiday rituals, credit, investments, insurances, and so on. Pig forces tell us what we can do. People wearing the pig costumes want to feel successful. Pigs invisibly eat sheep and blame the wolves.

Pig forces are “invisible” because from inside the culture we regard piggish influences as being the culture, whereas from outside the culture they are more easily seen as devouring the culture. Pigs strategically subsume natural human diversity with monoculture. For example, the more sheep that find an identity for themselves in a particular brand, the more sheep see that and are mesmerized to consume the same brand, and the more successful those brand pigs feel. Human culture is naturally diverse, being the creative expression of unique individuals. Whatever coerces individuals to use a brand name identity rather than to unfold and express their own unique identity devours the culture.

This picture is rather grim. There you are, a sheep, trapped by wolves defining what you can’t do, and pigs defining what you can do. Your way out of this trap is through taking extraordinary responsibility for respecting yourself and others as unique human beings – different from a sheep, a wolf, or a pig.

But let’s face it. Against such formidable forces, a weak and tasty morsel like yourself has minimal chances of success. You are a herd animal, offering your life force to wolves and pigs in exchange for feeling safe. If it is any consolation, sheep have a far easier time going nonlinear and awakening from this theatrical performance than do the pigs or wolves. This is because the wolves are right and the pigs are successful and each of them has so much to lose if they stopped playing the game. But if you are a sheep, what have you got to lose?

Directly confronting wolf or pig forces is out of the question by now, and not the purpose of this writing. But intelligently sidestepping wolf or pig forces is always an option, like a bullfighter sidesteps a bull.

Sidestepping the visible wolf forces is straightforward. You can avoid joining the army or a church. You can find a way to earn a paycheck not signed by any branch of the government. You can home school your children. You can obey the laws that are respectful of your dignity, and invisibly avoid those that are not.

Far more challenging is to sidestep the invisible pig forces. What makes pigs so effective at devouring sheep? It is the cleverness of their methodology. Whereas wolves use external threat to control the human spirit (any disobedience is punishable by fine or imprisonment, or both) pigs use an internal threat: insecurity. A sheep’s highest goal is security. When we sheep even for a moment think of doing something other than what the pigs dictate we must do to be acceptable to our neighbors, we melt into a puddle of quivering insecurity.

The most shocking element of this puzzle is that both the goal of security, and the threat of insecurity, are imaginary. We sheep live in blind obeisance to wolf and pig forces because we have adopted the absurd belief that security is a possibility.

Let us examine this belief.

Believing that security is possible involves using a special distortion of the mind. It is the same distortion that a mathematician uses to define a sphere even though no true spheres exist in the universe. It is the same distortion the mind uses to think of one apple even though one apple cannot exist outside of an entire ecosystem of apple trees / sun / rain / manure / bees, etc.

Since the apple is slowly ripening or rotting in our hand it is never in a steady state but always in flux.

The belief that security is possible uses an intellectual distortion that excludes one minor fact about life: Sooner or later, in one way or another, you are going to die. Nothing can make you secure enough to avoid your own death and the death of everyone you know.

Security is possible? Only in your imagination! What if you stopped pursuing the fantasy of security? What if you dared living your life? What kind of life would that be?

EXPERIMENT: This is a profound and long term experiment. Your experiment is to take your life back from the theatrical interplay of pigs, sheep and wolves through nonviolent non-cooperation with the fantasy of security. Two elements will support your experimenting: 1) Examining how you now support pigs and wolfs, and, 2) Considering nonviolent non-cooperation with what is not you.

1) SUPPORTING PIGS AND WOLVES Write one list of all the ways you give time, energy, attention, money, complaining, or worry to wolf forces (e.g. taxes, speeding, politics, lawyers, schooling). Take your time doing this so that the list is rather complete. Then make a separate list of how you feed pig forces, remembering that pig forces are more difficult to identify (e.g. your attitudes, your clothing styles, how you look, your possessions, where you eat, where you go online, where you shop, what brands you buy, your involvement with sports, your health practices, your holidays, how you entertain yourself, how you are attracted or repelled by others). In each case, write specifically what you lose while maintaining your illusion of security.

2) NONVIOLENT NON-COOPERATION Nonviolent non-cooperation is a practice in human dignity that was developed and implemented by Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and others.

There are important distinctions to know about this practice. The central point is reserving your right to disagree with anything – not as a silent or weak expression, but rather as a clearly communicated responsible noncompliance. You already know that you will pay a price but that your suffering is just the experience of increasing consciousness.

Start nonviolent non-cooperation with the pig forces. When you say, do, think, or believe anything that is not authentically what you want to say, do, think, or believe it is the pig forces at work. Pig forces make your life have a false ring to it. Ask for feedback from some people who know you. Ask where you could experiment with being noncompliant with that falseness?

Here are some possibilities:

- Carefully and neutrally observe yourself when waking up, washing, dressing, eating, arranging things, going places, talking with people, working and so on. What are you doing that is normal only because it is normal? Consider non-cooperation with the force of normal.

- Spend fifteen minutes in each of your rooms examining each of your possessions one at a time. Pick one up. Determine why you have that thing? Did it come from media or from your soul? Do you own it out of politeness and social acceptability or because it nurtures your being? Assess each jar of cream and bottle of perfume, every book, magazine, kitchen appliance, each piece of clothing and pair of shoes. Consider non-cooperation with marketing departments and social pressures.

- What opinions do you have about politics, beauty, children, work, time, or your neighbors that agree with other peoples’ opinions? What happens when you express a different opinion? Consider nonviolent non-cooperation with predominant opinions.

- When do you strategize about how others might react to various things you could say instead of directly saying what needs to be said? Consider noncompliance with your social fears. - What automatic reactions, attitudes, prejudices, beliefs do you have that a majority of others have? Can you find a place in you that has a different reaction? Consider non-cooperation with your automatic reactions.

3) EXTRA CREDIT EXPERIMENT Once you have created a gap between the pig, sheep and wolf forces and your daily behavior that is big enough for noncompliance to express itself, begin creating out of nothing what you truly want to do. Do not be frightened if at first there is nothing in the gap that seems to come from you. Do not let the pigs, sheep and wolves back into the void. Keep the gap open until your authentic moves create a rich and unique life of love, beauty, kindness and appreciation for you and your friends.

Since the actions of government and business are not directed towards providing humanity with a long future of well being, the most pressing question is what can people do at a grass-roots level to sustain human life on earth?

One answer is: Just Stop.

For example, to avoid being extinguished by poisonous technological by-products, the obvious answer is to stop consuming the products that produce the byproducts.

The difficulty is that technological byproducts are often hidden within manufacturing processes and their detrimental effects may be delayed for years.

For example, one previously unrecognized poisonous byproduct is DDT, an ingredient of a pesticide used in industrial farming and in the control of malaria-bearing mosquitoes. DDT’s harmful side-effects were not generally recognized when its insecticidal properties won its inventor, Paul Müller the 1948 Nobel Prize. It took years of coordinated efforts by environmental activists, scientists and concerned citizens to raise the general awareness about DDT to the point that farmers would change their behavior and actually stop using it. Finally in 1972 DDT was banned in the US, although it is still being used in other countries today.

An even more horrendous technical byproduct is DU (Depleted Uranium, U-238).

Depleted uranium is the by-product that remains after producing U-235 for the nuclear weapons and nuclear power industries. For each ton of enriched U-235, seven tons of depleted uranium are produced. Depleted Uranium is a marketing term of the nuclear industry. DU was originally recognized as a poison gas Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD) by the Manhattan Project during World War II. DU stays radioactive for 4.5 billion years, as long as the earth is old. For human beings, that means forever.

It is thought that the US currently has 1 million tons of depleted uranium radioactive waste, while the UK has at least 50,000 tons. This waste is stored in cylinders at many sites across the US and UK and is vulnerable to corrosion and leaks owing to aging cylinders and unprotected storage. It is stored mainly in the form of depleted uranium hexafluoride (DUF6) which can leak if the corroding cylinders are breached.

Trying to figure out how to safely store the stuff is a major headache – actually, it is impossible to safely store DU for 4.5 billion years. So clever people in high places figured out that DU is cheap to obtain (nobody wants to keep it), heavy, and hard, the perfect material for making armor piercing projectiles and bombs.

In 2002 and 2003 the United Nations determined that all DU weapons are illegal. DU weapons fit all four weapons test definitions of weapons banned by the Hague Conventions, the Geneva Conventions, and all other sources of military law.

According to this international law signed by the US, a weapon may be banned if:
(1) it has harmful effects outside the legal field of battle (the geography test);
(2) it has harmful effects after the war is over (the time test);
(3) its use is unduly inhuman or causes undue suffering (the humaneness test); or
(4) it has a harmful effect on the environment (the environment test).

DU weapons fit all these criteria perfectly. DU weapons are all illegal.

But the clever people in high places managed to convince the US regime to ignore their UN agreements and to illegally manufacture, transport, sell and use massive numbers of DU weapons during US, British and Israeli military operations in Arab nations in 1973, Iraq in 1991, Bosnia in 1994-1995, Kosovo/Yugoslavia in 1999, Afghanistan in 2001-2004, Iraq again in 2003, and in Lebanon still today. Tons of DU munitions have also been fired in testing and training grounds in Puerto Rico, Japan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, America and now Australia.

The problem with DU is that it burns explosively and at a very high temperature. The uranium puffs into clouds of nano-sized smoke particles that are so fine they go right through gas masks. The dust mixes with the air and can be carried over long distances. For example, nine days after the US’s 2003 first strike on Baghdad, radiation detectors in England went off the scale. Get out your map and draw a line between Baghdad and England and see who else was dusted along the way.

DU’s radioactivity is insidious because, although it can be stopped by a sheet of paper, if DU dust is inhaled or ingested it lodges in the tissues of the body and shoots radiation grenades strong enough to destroy DNA and cause cancer and birth defects forever.

The soldiers who fought in these battles were never properly protected from the dangers of their exposure to DU. For example, an estimated 575,000 US soldiers participated in the 1991 Gulf War I (Desert Shield and Desert Storm). The war was hailed as a major victory for the US, partly attributable to tank busting DU weaponry.

Although only 292 U.S. Servicemen and Women were killed in action in Gulf War 1, by mid 2004, almost all of these veterans (518,739) were on medical disability pensions. More than 11,000 silently died.

In a US Government study on post-Gulf War babies born to 251 Mississippi veterans with healthy children before they fought in Iraq, 67 percent of their babies born after their return had serious illnesses or serious birth defects. The grotesquely deformed babies born to US veterans look exactly like the babies being born in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, and Serbia. (Most photos are so disturbing that I did not want to show them on this website.)

Birth defects, cancers, leukaemia’s, debilitating illnesses and agonizing deaths are the documented cases of Americans who had brief battlefield contact with DU. What of the people who live in the battlefield? Try to imagine what might be going on undocumented in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Lebanon and Kosovo, where tons of spent DU munitions still contaminate the air, land, animals, plants, people and drinking water. Try to imagine.

Since 1991 the US, UK and Israel have exploded an amount of DU that releases the nuclear contamination equivalent to 460,000 Hiroshima bombs.

The US has now stockpiled millions of additional DU weapons in South Korean and Japanese air bases for near-term use in their next planned genocide.

The US government still denies its responsibilities, particularly with regards to having illegally and intentionally contaminated 8% of the earth’s surface with lethal radiation poisons forever. If you draw 1000 kilometer contamination circle around the central DU targets you will observe that the US may well have genocidal intentions towards China and Russia.

Since the United Nations has not acted to stop the blatantly illegal manufacture, sales, transportation and use of Depleted Uranium weapons by the US, you can. All you need to do is Just Stop buying any US products until all DU weapons have been recalled by their manufacturers and the DU is stored in its county of manufacture.

Just Stop buying anything from Starbucks, McDonalds, Burger King, Coca Cola, Disney, Monsanto, Exxon, Mobile, Phillip Morris, Marlboro, Wal-Mart, Levi’s, Gap, Citi Bank, Ford, GM, Mars, Chrysler, Boeing, Gillette, Kraft, Merrill Lynch, Budweiser, Pfizer, Microsoft, Google, IBM, GE, Harley Davidson, Hewlett Packard, Halliburton, American Express, Dell, Pepsi, Goodyear, Nike, UPS, Mattel, Parker, JP Morgan Chase, Apple, Kellogg’s, Heinz, MTV, Accenture, Papermate, Xerox, eBay, Wrigley’s, Colgate, Johnson & Johnson, Kodak, Caterpillar, Duracell, Bechtel, Alliant Techsystems, etc. Just Stop. And tell your friends what you are doing. And if you want to end Great Britain’s DU participation then also Just Stop buying Smirnoff, BP, and Shell!

This simple action of making a personal embargo against US and UK brands until all DU is recalled and stored by its manufacturers has become an international movement. Every personal sanction at point of sale is felt back home in the US economy. The pressure is on.

Either the US economy will run out of funds to finance its warmongering, or US brands will collectively force the US regime to end its unconscionable use of DU worldwide. Perhaps the United Nations will even come to life and take NATO out of the DU cover-up business too. Just Stop buying US brands.This is a warm up exercise for what follows.

Although DU contamination is depraved and inexcusable, and in the long term, suicidal for the human species, we may be instigating an even quicker catastrophe from another hidden technical byproduct: greenhouse gases.

Our original computer climate models predicted that if global temperatures were to rise at all from increased concentrations of greenhouse gases, they would slowly rise over a century or two. By then we would surely have developed alternative sources of energy and could easily stop producing carbon dioxide and methane to avoid serious climate change.

But it turns out that our original predictions were wrong. Our computer models ignored the possibility of exceeding hidden tipping points after only slight rises in earth’s temperature. Passing a small tipping point triggers an immense chain reaction.

One unexpected tipping point was recently discovered. It involves the very possible sudden release of a portion of the 400 gigatons of methane hydrates that have been frozen under Siberian Arctic tundra for the last 40,000 years.

If overall earth temperature increases a mere two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial averages, temperatures in the Arctic regions increase 6 to 9 degrees. This is because as the ice melts dark colored earth or water is exposed which absorbs far more heat than white snow does. White snow reflects the heat. All this is already happening. Wherever earth and water are exposed the Arctic temperatures jump up. While the rest of earth’s temperature goes up a little, Arctic temperatures go up a lot.

Higher temperatures thaw deeper layers of Arctic tundra releasing more methane, capturing more heat, melting more snow and ice, and so on. Once in the atmosphere, methane traps over 20 times more heat than the well-known greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. Arctic warming already releases methane burps from bogs and lakes 5 times faster than measured a few years ago.

Due to the thermal inertia of the vast oceans, the present air temperature is actually lagging behind the amount of heat being captured by present greenhouse gases. And if we do stop polluting the air then a reflective haze will clear and more heat will get through the atmosphere. Taking these two factors into account we are almost certain to have passed the 2 C degrees threshold after which the earth slides into an unstoppable heatwave avalanche like it did 51 million years ago.

A culture is sustainable when it can thrive indefinitely. Western culture is not sustainable because it depends on consuming vanishing resources, and it produces greenhouse gases that are making the planet uninhabitable.

For modern culture to achieve sustainability it must immediately and completely Just Stop producing greenhouse gases. Since neither governments nor mass-market business firms have made Western culture sustainable, you can. All you need to do is Just Stop any actions that create greenhouse gases at work, at home, and at play.

But which actions create greenhouse gases? How much gas is produced by particular actions? Which actions are the highest priority to Just Stop? How do I manage all this?

These are responsible and intelligent questions to ask.

It is their answers that are difficult.

The answers to questions about what to Just Stop are monumental. We are not prepared to hear those answers.

Each of us personally generates too much greenhouse gases through the products we purchase, the services we use, the actions we take, and the work we do. Greenhouse gas production is woven so thoroughly into our daily lives that almost every aspect of modern Western civilization needs to drastically change for humanity to survive.

It is beyond a person’s typical capacity to make the leap from consumer society to sustainable society. Can you admit how expert you are at avoiding this most central issue?

We philosophize. We philanthropize. We demonize. But can we live without the products, services, actions and work that we have grown to regard as normal?

This challenge is too daunting, too full of fearful unknowns.

Try to imagine stopping whatever you do that consumes oil or creates greenhouse gases. Now try to imagine what would be left of your life.

What would you eat? Where would you live? How would you get around? What kind of work would you do? We aren’t prepared to make those leaps yet. That is okay. We still have a little time.

This website could explain what a sustainable life entails, and it will, later on. But giving you answers to questions you haven’t asked is like trying to talk to an alcoholic before he hits bottom. Have you stopped beating your wife and kids? Have you paid off your credit cards? He is not really listening. He is thinking about his next drink.

Hitting bottom involves reconciling on a deep personal basis how it could be that through my actions and inactions I am one of the criminal minds behind global warming. I am a designer of the human demise. I am the one asleep with poop in my pants.

For most of us, realizing how soulless we must be to exterminate irreplaceable species of plants and animals is so overwhelming and so frightening that we drop the introspection and get distracted in our busy lives. We focus on pretending as if nothing is happening, on not feeling the ancient grief.

We edit our self-perception to see ourselves merely enjoying a fast food hamburger rather than seeing ourselves paying South American farmers to burn one of the last remaining CO2 absorbers and replace it with soybeans for cattle that produce more methane.

You want to hit bottom? Never eat another fast food meal again in your life. Ever. That is hitting bottom. Find out what you are really doing with each thing you do. Find the hidden costs that you slip past and don’t pay. You may not feel so happy looking at yourself in the mirror.

This website is not about providing solutions because they would not be your solutions. This website is about building the capacity in you to make your own solutions.

Every child is born with a radiant vision full of possibilities. You knew it as a child. The vision was clear and inviting. But the vision back then was impossible for a child to accomplish. Perhaps the vision still is impossible. Perhaps you even tried to forget about it. But your vision did not go anywhere. It is your vision. Whatever time you spend working to fulfill other people’s agendas is time that you are not being true to your vision.

What would need to change in your situation so that your daily actions are more in alignment with your vision as a child? Need more time? More space? Less pressure?

What are you waiting for?

The world does not need your solutions. Solutions are easy, obvious, and simple. What is missing is the motive for implementing solutions. That is why we haven’t implemented any solutions. We have no vision. The world needs your vision. That is what you are here for: to deliver your vision, over and over again, endlessly. What are you willing to take a stand for in public at the risk of being laughed at? What are you willing to make happen that will benefit all beings everywhere?

Implementing the answers to that question would carry you into sustainable culture better than any list of resource saving actions. It is far too late for the world to be saved through incrementalizing. We need radical action. We need large groups of people to suddenly become aware of their original vision and to work together and make that the priority in their lives, instead of money, instead of possessions, instead of fame or security.

It is not about looking for solutions. We have solutions. What we do not have is the will to act on those solutions.

It is vision that empowers the will to act. Without our vision we have no will. It is about reconnecting to our vision. We miss our vision

Start by viewing this amazing 20 minute video.

I am not suggesting that you Just Stop. I am not extolling you. I am not saying we must or they have to or you should. I am speaking to myself.

The greatest barrier to suddenly stopping is that I was neither shown nor taught that there is no “we” in responsibility.

It is easy to see that immediate action is necessary. But proclaiming the obvious, “We must act,” is a death blow to true action, because “we” cannot act! Only I can act.

I feel afraid to stop because I cannot yet imagine how I could stop all use of modern amenities and still survive. But waiting until I understand how I will survive the sudden stopping only assures that I do not survive.

There are five to eight years of time left. I have procrastinated perhaps too long already. Anything other than sudden planet-wide non-participation in unsustainable culture equates to planetary suicide, possibly in decades, almost certainly in a century.

If I, as a corporate, governmental, or individual decision maker, wait until I am forced to stop a behavior by law, by bankruptcy or by immediate threat of death, it is already too late to avoid calamity.

Thinking that I must wait for circumstance to force me to change means I have forgotten my free will. With free will I can stop now, without regard for laws, finances, or reasons. This is my life. These are my decisions. I choose either consciously to stop or unconsciously to avoid choosing. Then I wait for circumstances to decide for me. This is irresponsible.

“Until the late 20th century, every generation throughout history lived with the tacit certainty that there would be generations to follow. Each assumed, without questioning, that its children and children’s children would walk the same earth, under the same sky. Hardships, failures and personal death were encompassed in the vaster assurance of continuity. That certainty is now lost to us, whatever our politics. That loss, unmeasured and unmeasurable, is the pivotal psychological reality of our time.” - Joanna Macy

......We'll close with a song from Keb Mo....

Thursday, October 1, 2009

In Your Face Occultism, In Your Face Facsism.

I can't believe I'm blogging about the MTV Music Awards. First of all I didn't watch it. Second of all I couldn't give a flying f*** about any of the "artists" or the "music". I did see the clip of Kanye West being an "jackass" and seeing it out of context, it didn't really mean anything to me. The whole event was of no importance to me and didn't deserve any attention. So why am I bringing it up now, several weeks after the fact?

Well the reason is the article that you can read at the following website. I'm not going to copy it here because it doesn't copy well. You have to see the pictures that go along with the text. So go ahead and click the link, I'll wait. (or cut and paste it if the link doesn't work which seems to be par for the course around here.)

Ok, so what do you think about that? Does it make you wonder what the hell is really going on in this world? I mean really, what are the chances of every segment of the show unintentionally mimicing part of an occultic ritual ceremony?
It's quite obvious to me that everything that occurred on that show was intentional. So then I have to ask myself what was the intention. Entertainment? I think not. This is scary, not so much the fact that this was broadcast to millions of people, but that these people watching it would have no idea what they are actually witnessing. This is nothing new of course. It's been going on since the beginning of the "entertainment business". But this is by far the most blatant, in your face example of the evil that is steering the direction of our society.

What direction is this society being steered in? Well that brings me to the next topic that I really don't want to bring up but I feel it is necessary to at least be aware of because you have to be aware of what you don't want before you can be sure of what you do want. I know that I don't want what happened in Pittsburgh last week coming to the streets of my town. There are many videos of the outrageous happenings on the streets of Pittsburgh during the G-20 meetings. This is just one of them.
This is the description accompanying the video.
"In what was possibly the most surreal, horrific, and unimaginable thing I have ever witnessed in my life, 1200 Riot Police and Military Personal rabidly attacked a group of well under 300 American citizens, many of them just students that were unaware there was even a protest going on. They then expanded their perimeter and shut large areas of Oakland down. This is how my last experience at the G20 in Pittsburgh went down, out of control authorities mercilessly attacking an unarmed crowd with batons, tear gas, pepper spray, sound weapons, and rubber bullets. Around 10pm on Friday night, long after the vast majority of dignitaries and protesters had left, it became evident that the outrageous show of force by the Military and Police was not enough to stave off their thirst for blood."

This was basically a planned show of force to intimidate the American people. They were showing off their new "Sonic Crowd Control" weapon. They hardly showed much of it's potential though. They didn't turn it to the frequency that would make the entire crowd of people instantly loose control of their bowels. I guess they really didn't want to have to clean that up. But just the presence of this weapon on the streets of an American city was enough to send the message that the powers that be are not going to tolerate any resistance to their plans for world domination. What kind of person do you have to be to be a cop these days? How could "public servants" violate the constitution with such enthusiasm? There is a big difference in keeping the peace and going on a rampage against unarmed and nonthreatening civilians. My hunch is that most of those guys in riot gear were not actually policeman at all. My hunch is that they were foreign troops that don't give a damn about the constitution and have no back off on beating Americans in the streets of their own towns. This is the New World Order. This is the one world global fascist state. And this is what we are being groomed to accept as "necessary" for our own "security".

Ok, so now that we are aware of this we can decide if this is what we want the future to be like for us, for our children and our grandchildren. If you would rather be "secure" than free then fine, have a nice day and when you realize you have neither don't say you weren't warned. But if what you want for your future is a bit more free and idyllic, well then the first thing you have to understand is that resistance is futile. Nobody is going to win in a shooting war against these weapons. The only way to win is first of all withdraw all cooperation and support for the current power structure. Stop feeding the machine that is intending to crush you! Then decide on a better vision for the future and start working towards that together with like minded individuals. We're in for some interesting times ahead. Let's hope that enough of us have our wits together to survive the chaos and come out on the other side with a new world that's worth living in.